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Event Success Stories - Marine Industries Association of South Florida

The Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show was the only live boat show in the country during the pandemic. In today's feature, Nicole Hoekstra, Director of Membership and Events of the Marine Industries Association of South Florida, shared all the amazing things they were able to accomplish during the pandemic.

The boat show had great support from Broward County to bring the live event back quickly and safely. Thanks to the city and county officials, they came up with a safety plan working blueprint for all the exhibits. They implemented temperature checks, masks, extra people to help enforce the rules, extra hand sanitation stations, and open-air tents. We as FFEA members had a great opportunity to go see this first hand.

The ways they pivoted for the boat show was reducing the capacity of their in-person events and looking at best practices to do everything safer. For example, their annual meeting in-person was normally 10 people at a table and they reduced table seating to 6 people. They did virtual events and hybrid to accomplish all the programs they wanted to showcase to the Broward community.

Some of the new ideas they implemented were incorporating technology to record PSA videos and also track the weight of trash picked up for their cleanup projects. Broward Waterway Cleanup had created a new way for tracking the weight of trash remotely, so that people did not have to travel and bring their trash to a location to weigh. They allowed a quick and safe way of logging items they picked up around the ocean area without having to come in close proximity to each other. This also allowed more opportunities for community service in a less crowded environment.

Ocean Conservatory created an app to use their technology to record PSA videos. These were a huge success for promotion for events and activities along with keeping people aware of everything going on. Both of these new ideas are things they will continue, now that they discovered them.

We spoke about what Nicole thought the outcome would be in the future for the event industry. Nicole said, “I am very optimistic for the future of the industry and events. Personally, I went to a concert in Delray and I was nice to have people in pods as it makes events less crowded. As we know live events are coming back and everything seems to be moving in a positive direction. Bands are now booking again for 2021.” Her first event in-person came back July 1st and people are ready to get out and be together again.

The Marine Industries Association of South Florida and Nicole Hoekstra are one of our true Florida Heroes. They adapted to the changes that happened in the event industry due to the pandemic and have made it out with their team and even stronger together.

Christina wants everyone in the community of FFEA to remember this, “Do not be afraid to restructure and take a new direction when it comes to your events. We are excited for new ideas and making events even more personalized and special for our guests.”

Featured in this interview:

Marine Industries Association of South Florida
221 SW 3rd Ave
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33312

Phone: (954) 524-2733

If you are interested in being featured to share a success story from your event or organization, contact us here. To view all of our event features, click here.
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